Posted on September 16th, 2014
Painting is one of the cheapest ways to make over a space, and done right even an amateur can do a bang-up job. Here are a few tips before getting started:
>> When selecting sheen, use this rule of thumb: Ceilings need satin, walls need satin or semi-gloss, and trim and doors need semi-gloss. Why the popularity of semi-gloss? It’s the easiest to wash and clean, said decorative product specialist Liz Sparrow of Sherwin-Williams in Chubbuck.
Because of its durability pros recommend semi-gloss for bathrooms, kitchens and kids’ rooms — the spaces that take the biggest beating in most homes. The biggest drawback is that semi-gloss is slightly shiny, and the shinier the finish, the more imperfections it will highlight. So if you’ve got dinged walls but still need washability, you might be able to find it in a higher quality paint. Sherwin-Williams, for instance, has two products called Emerald and Duration that offer a lower sheen and scrub-ability too.
>> Neutral paint really is boss. It offers more flexibility in décor options than a color does — “then you can just put pops of any color in your room without being overwhelmed by the paint color on your wall,” Sparrow said. She recommends browns and grays and says the gray trend has finally arrived in Pocatello. Her favorite is a cooler gray because vibrant colors warm it up so it really sings.
>> Always sample first — “it’s cheaper and safer, especially if you’re indecisive,” Sparrow said. Buy the color you think you want in a small amount — like a quart or less — and opt for a satin finish; based on that sheen, you’ll know if you like more or less shine. Paint a big enough swatch that you can’t see any other color in your peripheral vision, and you’ll have a good idea of whether or not the shade is a keeper. The color in a smaller swatch might not be true because the shade can appear different next to the existing wall color.
>> Buying a higher-quality (and more expensive) paint might be worth it. If you’re painting over walls that are highly saturated (think red or chocolate), buying a paint plus primer can be a cost- and time-saver in the long run. But if you’re going to invest in the best paint…
>> Use quality supplies. Sparrow sees customers sometimes buy a $75 gallon of paint, then apply it with a dollar-store roller cover — and those people end up putting five coats on the wall versus one or two. Instead, choose the best brushes and rollers you can afford for a better-looking paint job. “If you’re going to spend the money to buy the paint, buy the stuff that goes with it as well. It will make your job so much easier,” she said.